Our blood consists of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Monocytes are a type of white blood cell that is made in the bone marrow and travels through the blood. Like other white blood cells, monocytes are important in the immune system’s ability to destroy invaders, but also in facilitating healing and repair.
When there is tissue damage or infection, the monocytes leave the bloodstream and enter the affected tissue or organ where they become macrophages.
Monocytes (also known as peripheral blood mononuclear cells) and macrophages are the first to respond to tissue damage and are required to successfully start the regeneration and healing process.
The Monocytes procedure involves a selective filtration of your blood which harnesses Monocytes and their reparative properties for sporting injury and soft tissue damage.
Current conditions and injuries treated with Monocytes
The Monocytes procedure
The treatment is designed to be a single injection therapy in the out-patient clinic setting. Depending on the treatment area 80-120 ml of peripheral blood is withdrawn like a simple blood test, the blood undergoes a selective filtration process of vital peripheral blood mononuclear cells with the removal of pro-inflammatory cells. The final Monocytes product is then injected under ultrasound guidance into the damaged area, the procedure takes no longer than 30-minutes.
The injection offers:
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Targeted pain relief
In the degenerated tendons, Monocytes contribute to the repair of the damage by promoting the release of enzymes that help remove the damaged parts and consequently help the formation of a new matrix to promote the healing of the tendon. They perform a similar function in muscle injuries and promote the repair of damaged muscle fibres as a result of injury.
There is some evidence to show these cells reduce inflammation in joints and have a beneficial effect in inflammatory forms of arthritis.
You may experience side effects (e.g., bruising, local pain or swelling) associated with the blood draw and treatment injection.
The science behind Monocytes technology
Monocytes, found in the peripheral blood are important immune protective cells (phagocytosing invaders), and, most importantly, they respond to cell and tissue injury or inflammation by homing to the damaged region, differentiating into macrophages and concomitant secretion of large quantities of growth factors and cytokines that are necessary for repair and regeneration of the tissue.
Specifically, a combination of monocyte sub-types provides a balanced secretion of factors beneficial to osteoarthritis improvement by:
- Optimising matrix remodelling (TIMPs and MMPs)
- Renewal of blood supply and vascularity (VEGF, SDF-1α)
- Cartilage/bone repair and regeneration (BMP-2, HGF, TGF-β1)
- Dampening of excessive inflammation (Il1-Rα antagonist, IL-10)
Concentrating blood macrophages and tissue/joint delivery via injection therefore is an effective mechanism to support the bodies natural repair in osteoarthritis.
Frequently asked questions
2 to 4 weeks. Individuals respond differently but there may be an initial flare with increased pain after the injection before things begin to improve.
Pain reduction, improved function and better healing of tendons and muscle injuries.
Monocytes is a safe treatment option and there is no risk of an allergic reaction since it uses your own blood. However because a needle is being placed in your body, there is a risk of infection, bleeding and nerve damage but this is very rare.
- Monocytes and macrophages in tissue repair: Implications for immunoregenerative biomaterial design
- Changes in Macrophage Phenotype and Induction of Epithelial-To-Mesenchymal Transition Genes Following Acute Achilles Tenotomy and Repair
- Macrophages recruited via CCR2 produce insulin-like growth factor-1 to repair acute skeletal muscle injury
- Macrophage Cell Lines Produce Osteoinductive Signals That Include Bone Morphogenetic protein-2